Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908), known as Ye Henala, also known as the Western Empress Dowager and Lao Foye, was the imperial concubine of Xianfeng Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. She was the actual supreme ruler of the Tongzhi and Guangxu Dynasties (1861-1908). She ruled China for 47 years by way of listening to the government from behind the curtain and by way of political tutelage. During this period, China suffered frequent foreign invasions, and nine times out of ten it had to lose every war, so it "measured China's material resources and won the favor of the country" and ceded land for compensation. In addition, the extravagant life and opposition to the reform have been criticized by the Chinese for a hundred years.



In Chinese history textbooks, Empress Dowager Cixi is a symbol of the decadence of the Qing Dynasty. In Chinese historical memory, Empress Dowager Cixi is a very negative figure, even called traitor, capitulator, conservative and killer. However, the appearance of a large number of palace relics tells people another side that Empress Dowager Cixi is not well known: she is still a painter and calligrapher. This is the revelation of scholar Bujing Shu on his blog. "Empress Dowager Cixi is not a good leader, but can be said to be an excellent calligrapher and painter. Empress Dowager Cixi has a good command of calligraphy, and flower-and-bird painting is also excellent. "



According to a report by Liaoning's Times Business News, the Empress Dowager Cixi's original painting "Fugui Changchun Tu", which was first displayed in Shenyang's Imperial Palace on July 4, 2004, immediately "subdued" the tourists who came to visit, and everyone unanimously marveled at the "difficult" Empress Dowager's paintings and calligraphy. According to zhi yun ting, director of Shenyang national palace museum, "everyone knows that empress dowager cixi was a politician in the late Qing dynasty, but few people know that she is still an outstanding writer of calligraphy and painting. I have seen some memorials she has read and written beautifully."



"Qing Gong Yi Wen" recorded that "after the middle of Guangxu period, Empress Dowager Cixi suddenly took delight in calligraphy, learning to draw flowers, and learning to carve large characters". Empress Dowager Cixi's husband and son all died very early and were left alone for many years. Although she was supreme in status and ordered, the nobles threw themselves down to the ground and "long live" resounded all over the temple, but she still lived alone and in distress for decades. She did not live easily, so she "liked art" and studied calligraphy and painting frequently in order to find comfort in her heart.


According to ancient books, Empress Dowager Cixi did not know how to draw, but one of her men, Meng Xiaqing, from Hunan, painted for Empress Dowager Cixi.











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